• Mixing Alcohol and The Muppets

    by  • December 10, 2015 • Advertiser Accountability • 9 Comments


    Drink up, kiddies!

    At least that’s the message being sent by some beloved children’s characters. Again.

    ABC’s The Muppets continues to barrage the children watching the show with messages that drinking alcohol is perfectly acceptable.

    In this week’s Dec. 8th episode, Muppet characters are sitting at tables together at Rowlf’s Tavern. Two Muppets are shown holding alcoholic beverages. On the table in front of Dr. Teeth and Gonzo there is a mug full of beer and a drink with a lemon wedge on the rim of the glass. Rowlf pours a glass of whiskey for Sam the Eagle.

    If you’re tempted to think that this doesn’t matter, consider that Nielsen data indicates that over one million children ages 2-11 have routinely watched The Muppets each week.

    Unfortunately, the Muppets’ continued alcohol use lines up with our own analysis we conducted of the first four episodes of The Muppets, which found that 55 percent of all the adult-themed content consisted of alcohol or drug references and depictions.

    One bar scene in the 4th episode was long enough to consume almost one-quarter of the show’s screen time, during which Muppet characters were shown drinking and becoming drunk from beer, wine, and hard liquor.

    This kind of content just isn’t acceptable on a TV show that naturally attracts children, and on a show that theoretically should be safe for families to watch together.

    We don’t know about you, but to us, mixing Muppets with alcohol just isn’t family-friendly entertainment.

    Now, The Muppets Executive Producer Bob Kushell recently left and ABC promised a new direction for the show in forthcoming episodes.

    We aren’t sure of what the “new direction” will look like, but we certainly hope that the beloved children’s characters will change course to become a show that families can safely watch together in the new year.

     Contact the following companies to let them know that their sponsorship dollars shouldn’t go towards a children’s show that routinely promotes alcohol use:

    Capital One: Steven.Tulip@capitalone.com

    Old Navy: Jill_Stanton@Gap.com



    9 Responses to Mixing Alcohol and The Muppets

    1. Art
      February 23, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      The new muppets show is not aired during the morning cartoon run, and the new show is geared at us that used to watch it when we were young, the muppets have grown up. So should you

    2. Sara
      December 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

      People who keep saying “The Muppets aren’t meant for kids, it’s an adult show, etc.” are missing the point. Kids are attracted to puppets (and cartoons), whether it’s intended for kids or not! Millions of kids age 2-11 have already watched this more “adult” version of the Muppets as borne out in the weekly Nielsen statistics.

    3. Linda Martin
      December 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      I won’t be watching it anytime soon!!!!

    4. kathy cox
      December 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      Muppets is not for children especially w/ the alcohol and adult content you include. Very inappropriate.

    5. Tiffany
      December 18, 2015 at 8:43 am

      Seems like I see more and more people lately who get worked up over anything and everything. EVERYTHING…let it go, I am pretty sure our kids are not going to grow up to be alcoholics because a muppet drank a glass of wine. Guess what, so did Jesus.
      Instead of trying to find something to debate, bash or criticize how about we all just relax a bit and realize we can’t control everything and it’s unhealthy to try and do so. So have a glass of wine and relax…and watch The Muppets.

    6. December 18, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Children are extremely impressionable, as are most adults! Imagine a child in a home where one or both of the adults are alcoholics, seeing drinking displayed by The Muppets. It sets them up for repeating this destructive behavior when they are adults, causing themselves and those around them misery and years of lost productive lives. Is it not better to present to our children the highest standards we work to uphold for ourselves and them? As a country we can turn the tide of decline by turning off our tvs for such shows as the Muppets, and engaging in meaningful family activities. It is the greatest gift we can give to our children.

    7. Ann Macdonald
      December 18, 2015 at 7:25 am

      The Muppets have been loved and watched by children (and adults) for years. The depiction of them in the current program is really upsetting. Children should see the sweet simplicity that has been the Muppets appeal—not the drinking and edgy characters we see today.

    8. Kathy Wynn
      December 18, 2015 at 4:43 am

      Mixing Muppets with alcohol just isn’t family-friendly entertainment. I won’t watch any TV program that pushes drinking alcohol at all.

      • Kevin
        February 8, 2016 at 4:49 am

        I’m 93% sure that ABC is having a meeting right now because you don’t like it. You, personally, are changing the world.

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